‘The Iron Workers Union: Part 3’ starts October 15th at the Chapel Gallery

Seven artists – Chad Arney, Matt Church, Hilary Clark Cole, Andrew Cohrs, Mikaila Davidson, Brendan Duggan, and Deb Harkness – working in metal, have come together to create The Iron Workers’ Union: Part 3 that will be on display at the Chapel Gallery beginning on October 15.

“The show is a gathering of artists with metal in the blood,” states Clark Cole. “We all love the medium and enjoy exploring its endless possibilities.”

The historical roots of today’s artistic metalworkers span cultures, civilizations and the millennia. Three thousand years after iron ore was first plucked from the ground with curiosity to the time when the clank and clatter of the blacksmith’s anvil ushered in the Iron Age then to the Industrial Revolution that changed nearly everything, metalworkers have had a profound effect on civilizations.

Metalworking techniques are varied ranging from hammering, soldering, brazing, forging and welding that transform metal into objects that fire our imaginations, awe us with their beauty or encourage us to question why. “I find metal an infinite medium. I continually challenge myself to see what might be possible in metal and I have yet to find it,” comments Hilary.

Inspiration for their work is as varied as the group. “I get my inspiration from everything including mechanical and natural forms,” says Brendan. “It’s an accumulative process that will take a lifetime to complete.” When making pieces for this exhibition, emerging artist Mikaila, was inspired by science fiction movies, as she wanted to “make something that looked like it came straight out of an Alien or Predator movie, something that could give you nightmares.” Recycled materials found along roadsides, in the woods or trash that are left behind and forgotten are the muse for Chad who gives these modern day castoffs new life as fun and entertaining assemblages. Matt Church who comes from a long line of blacksmiths wanted to create something new, to break away from his usual way of working and force himself into uncharted territories.

Learning their craft has required years of schooling, mentoring, experimentation and practice. Some, such as Deb studied at college then went on to apprentice at a blacksmith shop for nine years before venturing out on her own. While Brendan trained at traditional schools, most of this knowledge of welding techniques came from working in a commercial welding shop. Although Hilary was trained in the disciplines of sculpture and welding at the Ontario College of Art and Design, over the years, she has often been forced to innovate because there was no one to teach her what she wanted to learn.

Visitors to this exhibition will see how these seven artists are able to work with the hard rigid metal of steel and found metal objects and transform them into fantastical found object sculptures, mechanical works, flowers or life-size animals. “I hope the viewer will realize how difficult and challenging this form of art can be,” states Deb. “I hope they enjoy the work and gets a sense of the many varied metal crafting techniques are and how they can be put together,” adds Brendan.

The Iron Workers’ Union: Part 3 opens with a public reception on Saturday, October 15 from 1pm until 4pm. The exhibition continues at the Chapel Gallery until November 12. The Chapel Gallery is located at 15 King Street in Bracebridge. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm until 5pm with admission by donation.

For more information, please visit www.muskokaartsandcrafts.com or call (705) 645-5501.

Three people charged with arson

The OPP has charged three males in relation to a fire in the city of Orillia.

On August 12th, police were dispatched to a fire outside of a business at Atherley Road and Gill Street. After an extensive investigation the Orillia Crime Unit has charged three males with Arson in relation to the fire.

A 19 year old male from Barrie and a 19 and 20 year old from Orillia have been charged with Arson. They were released on a Promise to Appear in Orillia Criminal Court on October 18, 2016.

Members of the Orillia Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police are committed to public safety, delivering proactive and innovative policing in partnership with our communities. Officers value your contribution to building safe communities.

If you have information about suspected unlawful activity, please contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or visit Crime Stoppers at: www.crimestopperssdm.com or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

Huntsville man charged with keeping man captive and forcing him to withdraw money from bank account

Huntsville, Ontario man facing charges after another man was allegedly kept captive

Published August 31, 3pm: A Huntsville man has been charged with kidnapping, assault and forcible confinement of another man who police say was abducted and held captive from Thursday through Friday of last week.

Huntsville Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers were made aware of the alleged assault yesterday.

The investigation found that on Thursday, August 28, the victim was taken into a residence and forced to remain there until Friday, August 29 for about 24 hours.  In that time, police say the victim was assaulted, threatened and was not allowed to leave. He was also taken to a local bank and forced to withdraw money from a bank account.

As a result of a search warrant conducted in a Huntsville home, police have charged 27-year-old John Merkel of Huntsville with Kidnapping, Robbery, Forcible Confinement, Assault and Breach of Probation under the Criminal Code of Canada. He faces further charges of possession of a controlled substance under the Controlled Drug Substances Act. The accused was remanded into custody and held for a bail hearing to return to the Ontario Court of Justice in Bracebridge on September 3 to answer to his charges.